Revisiting the China Dog Cull
The China dog culling travesty clearly angered a lot of people back in August. Many of you posted with concern and frustration. So, in light of this I’ve decided to quickly revisit the issue.
When nothing else is known about the issue, or about the progress of animal welfare reform in China, it’s easy to throw accusations at the sight of seeing dogs ripped from the arms of their owners and beat to death with clubs. I was certainly appalled and sickened! It’s difficult to believe that the Chinese government has actually taken steps to improve animal welfare in the recent past.
I recently approached our Asia Regional director, Grace Gabriel, who
has a long history working with municipalities in China to improve
animal welfare legislation. We sat together discussing the comments
this issue has generated on our blog. What can be done to stop dog
culling? What kind of answer and guidance should I submit to our blog
readers? First and foremost Grace said to me, “Dog culling and the
emotional outcry’s that this practice is barbaric, is not something
When several municipalities years ago decided to initiate a dog cull
IFAW circulated a petition asking these areas to stop the inhumane
extermination of dogs. The petition was signed by compassionate people
all over the world, including CHINESE CITIZENS!
Dog culling stopped. No laws were ever enacted nor were any future
promises made, but at least the culling stopped in those municipalities
and it has not reoccurred.
Additionally, in 2003, with help from IFAW, the Beijing government
passed a dog regulation mandating vaccination and promoting responsible
dog ownership. For a city that never allowed pet dogs outside between
the hours of 8am and 8pm, this was a monumental step!
Although success has been slow and minimal, these small steps are very significant.
The best way to respond to the dog culling issue is not through
protests and boycotts but through calm negotiation and appeal with
reason. Rallies and boycotts may help release the emotions and anger,
rightfully so, but it may backfire and hurt what we hope to achieve
with rational appeals.
I hope this offers a new perspective on the situation